Before They Pass Away

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Every so often, something comes along that just steals your breath away.  For me, this is that – photographs so beautiful and taken with such clear intent it makes me believe that purity still exists, if even just in the fleeting moment of an open camera shutter.

In 2009, photographer Jimmy Nelson set out to photograph 31 secluded tribes for a series, Before They Pass Away, which strove to document the rapidly vanishing cultures of tribal communities before they are extinguished.

Nelson came to the tribes as a guest – he “smiled and drank their mysterious brews before taking out his camera. He shared what real people share: vibrations, invisible but palpable. He adjusted his antenna to the same frequency as theirs. As trust grew, a shared understanding of the mission developed: the world must never forget the way things were.”

I encourage you to explore the Before They Pass Away website if you have the time – his portraits of the tribes and their natural environments are breathtaking.  From the far reaches of Papua New Guinea to Kazakhstan, Ethiopia to Siberia, every photo is a discovery.

A book of the series is currently on sale with Amazon – a great holiday gift for the traveler or photographer in your life!

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*Photo Source: Jimmy Nelson*

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